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Old 10-10-2012, 04:25 PM   #91
Lionqueen2
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I don't think there is one perfect solution to accomodations for everyone. People are different and their needs and wants are also different. Also, family circumstances and priorities are different for each person and affect whether an on-site or off-site accomodation works best for a particular trip.

My family has and does do both, but even when we are on-site, we never use the Disney buses. I think they are way too crowded, but I know folks who love them and wouldn't drive in the parks. To each his own!

However, I never felt that staying off-site ever diminished 'the magic' in any way. Usually, at the end of the day, I am so tired that I don't care if I am in a Disney resort or off-site.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:30 PM   #92
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I like staying off site sometimes. I did a super budget weeklong trip. We got a 2BR military timeshare for less than $400 for the whole week at Silver Lake right outside Animal Kingdom. The hotel was super nice and close. We already had AP's so didn't have to pay for parking (even so it would have been cheaper). We ate breakfast in the hotel every day and did almost all CS and cooked dinner a few nights too. It was fun for us. We don't have to go all out every time.

We almost never use the Disney buses... The only time we use them is for Magic Kingdom because we don't have to take the vote Everywhere else I find it easier to park.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:39 PM   #93
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Wrong thread.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:47 PM   #94
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Why would someone who hates staying offsite even answer this question? The question is to convince someone to stay offsite, not convince them that offsite is a horrible decision. Just my 2¢.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Bnb0627 View Post
Things I'm not looking forward to: cleaning, cooking ( don't really plan to just breakfast and snacks) and food shopping
Use Garden Grocer and have food delivered. I don't grocery shop on vacation. (I have our groceries delivered at home because I hate the grocery store so much)
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #96
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My parents took us a few times every year and we stayed at my grandparent's vacation house. We drove from NY most of the time and my mom had to cook and clean. We sometimes ate in the parks but mostly at home or offsite. My mom complained that this was not a vacation for her. And she was right. We would visit the Disney hotels and I longed to stay in them. But my parents said it was a waste of money since they could use the house. The house was about 30 minutes away from Disney and so travel time was 1 hour. It took forever to get us all up and ready to go. And my dad likes to be there all day without breaks for eating, resting, etc. And really when you have to drive 25 minutes back to the house because you can't just go back to your hotel room, there is no place to rest! But everything changed once my sister was in the college program and got a very generous discount! We got to stay at POP, Boardwalk and Caribbean Beach! I was in love! It is such a difference staying onsite. Then my parent's had their own vacation house built 40 minutes away from Disney! And I love it, it is very nice. But it is too far. My husband and I have broken up trips staying at Disney and then my parents house. We get out on time when we stay onsite but when we stay at my parent's house, we are lazy. Knowing we have to drive, getting the kids ready, etc. just makes staying offsite feel like you're missing the magic. I have stayed in villas closer and I liked it a alot. I would probably stay in a near by villa if it was an amazing price and an extra vacation. But there would be that something is missing feeling. And this is just my opinion. I also feel like I cheat on Disney if I go to Universal. So if you would not feel like you will be missing anything,
then definately try it. But make sure it isn't so far that you miss Disney time.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:18 PM   #97
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so glad you touched on this subject cause after our stay @ pop this nov. we are considering staying @ homeaway vacation homes because we hate leaving our fur babies and they are pet friendly. we are like you and never stayed off site so i will be keeping an eye on this thread. thanks!
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #98
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Quote:
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Goodness! For being a DISNEY page, you people are awful nasty!!! You could have just posted the direction WITHOUT making a snarky comment first!
I was being snarky?

Unlike what this thread is turning into, I was honestly trying to be helpful. Unless the person is familiar with ebay as much as I am, they may not have realized they were directions. It took me a while to get the whole "-" thing. I see your "You could have just posted the direction WITHOUT making a snarky comment first!" and respond You could have not jumped to conclusions and give someone the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #99
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I can't even imagine staying off site. It's an entirely different experience to me. You waste too much time in traffic...never mind I have no desire to drive when I'm there. I want to be immersed in the Disney bubble 24/7! It is worth every extra penny IMHO! We even stayed at Bonnet Creek once while we were there for basketball...absolutely no magic! Wouldn't do it again. Extra Magic Hours are worth it!
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #100
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See, I've stayed onsite 2x but never off site, but after this trip I am definitely considering it for next time. You guys say disney busses are great, but I just got back from an 8 night trip and only once, ONCE did I get to my destination in less than 1 hour. ONCE! We had two morning dining reservations and waited for a bus that never showed. It was so bad, people were hopping in taxis so they didn't miss their ADRs. Transferring from our home resort to another resort was never less than 1 hour 15 minutes. Instead of it being relaxing, I was constantly stressed. I think I only made our ADRs on time once, because we left 90 minutes before our reservation, which was at 4:30 pm. And I didn't go at peak times, neither opening or closing as my girls were asleep by 7pm. It seemed I always just missed a bus or boat no matter where I went. And of course, I have learned never take the monorail if you have an ADR anywhere. In case anyone is wondering, the September trip was at POR.

I am definitely thinking of trying Bonnet Creek next time. They have a bus schedule. My kids are not able to wake up too much earlier or stay out late so EMH doesn't appeal to me at this age, and it would be nice to have a kitchen, as lots of the food was blah. I don't cook at home, so cooking on vacation wouldn't be bad for me. And the ability to put my kids to bed and close the door would be very nice. $300 for a week at bonnet creek v. $300 a night at AoA suite for a door is night and day.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:12 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimilady View Post
See, I've stayed onsite 2x but never off site, but after this trip I am definitely considering it for next time. You guys say disney busses are great, but I just got back from an 8 night trip and only once, ONCE did I get to my destination in less than 1 hour. ONCE! We had two morning dining reservations and waited for a bus that never showed. It was so bad, people were hopping in taxis so they didn't miss their ADRs. Transferring from our home resort to another resort was never less than 1 hour 15 minutes. Instead of it being relaxing, I was constantly stressed. I think I only made our ADRs on time once, because we left 90 minutes before our reservation, which was at 4:30 pm. And I didn't go at peak times, neither opening or closing as my girls were asleep by 7pm. It seemed I always just missed a bus or boat no matter where I went. And of course, I have learned never take the monorail if you have an ADR anywhere. In case anyone is wondering, the September trip was at POR.

I am definitely thinking of trying Bonnet Creek next time. They have a bus schedule. My kids are not able to wake up too much earlier or stay out late so EMH doesn't appeal to me at this age, and it would be nice to have a kitchen, as lots of the food was blah. I don't cook at home, so cooking on vacation wouldn't be bad for me. And the ability to put my kids to bed and close the
door would be very nice. $300 for a week at bonnet creek v. $300 a night at AoA suite for a door is night and day.
That is why DH hates the buses and will only stay at an Epcot walking distance resort or Bay Lake Tower. He does not like to drive on vacation because he drives so much for work.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:51 PM   #102
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We only use the buses for the mk, and when we are going our own ways.

But I get not wanting to drive. It just isn't what they want to do. My husband is fine with it.

We've stayed at about a dozen different condos and 7 different disney resorts. Our current favorite is akv and we will enjoy our week there in two studios. The next week we will love spreading out into our two bedrooms at silver ale where we've never stayed. It is all good in our book!
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:40 AM   #103
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We are jones'ing for a trip to the World, and trying to make it all come together in late January 2013. We have been DVC members, but with the change in the economy, we are no longer

I am noticing that we could double our trip if we didn't stay onsite. But this is a completely foreign venture for us!!

We have our favorite onsite restaurants, and I was trying to price out eating at those places only, but then trying to save money by cooking at a rental or suite hotel. Obviously this would mean carrying in our lunches and snacks. This would mean no dining plan - which is another substantial savings - yet also foreign. (We have some pretty complicated food intolerances and allergies and LOVE Disney's amazing accommodations, so we aren't opposed to eating on property - just trying to stay longer by not staying on site and saving money somewhere.)

Then comes the question about the cost of parking.

This all still has to be cheaper than the all inclusive price we just got for the "Dine, Play, Stay" cardmember deal.

I am convinced, but now I have to convince my other half that it really is OK not to stay onsite?!!! HELP!!

OP, we are an offsite family - for many of the reasons in the thread. However, depending on your perspective, you won't be happy offsite if you regret it or wish you hadn't.

Here is my take on various subjects above?

1) transportation/buses
- onsite: Some love the buses ("its great, I don't have to drive"). Some hate the buses ("we wait *forever*". "no time savings here").
- offsite: rental cars? hate 'em ("the 'trek' across the parking lot") love 'em ("I'm at my car faster and out the door than waiting for a bus").


2) "magic"
- onsite: "you miss the 'magic' offsite"
- offsite: "there ain't no 'magic' with 5 people crammed in one little hotel room"

3) EMH
- do you use them and like them?
- or do you avoid those parks since they can get busier than other parks?

4) breaks
- onsite: "easier to take breaks throughout the day and go back." "more of an opportunity to 'do it all' "
- offsite: "leave at 3pm, go back to your resort, swim, have a calm night and relatively normal bedtime"

5) vacation 'chores'
- onsite: love not to cook or clean... "it isn't a 'vacation' if I'm doing those things"
- offsite: a few minutes of chopping fruit or making a pot of noodles outweighs the fact that we are 'crammed' into a hotel room or don't have to eat every meal out (my family gets tired of eating every meal out).

6) packing?
- onsite: laundry facilities limited and inconvenient
- offsite: full size W/D - can do laundry and therefore do carry on only.

7) cost
- onsite: no "value" in staying offsite
- offsite: too expensive to stay on site for amenities offered.


I'm sure others can chime in with more. I'm just trying to break down a few of the reasons to help guide your decision making. I think, ultimately, you have to make the decision that is right for your family. For us, staying offsite is best. I certainly understand why others make different decisions, but would rather explain our reasons for our decisions.

Everyone's experience is real to them. Doesn't mean it translates for the masses though. Figure out your traveling style. My guess is based on your post, that your husband would be unhappy offsite. Maybe, then, it really "isn't worth it" for your family.

good luck.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:00 AM   #104
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Well said!!

I think for me it has little to do with on it off but trip duration. I will take two weeks over one any time!! Maybe you could split like we do. Staying akv on points first 5 days, $1100 for two studios. And then checking into silver lake in Friday, the week costing us $350 for two bedrooms. So we have just shy 2 weeks, for $1450. Having to get 2 rooms at akv stinks though.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:47 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionqueen2 View Post
I don't think there is one perfect solution to accomodations for everyone. People are different and their needs and wants are also different. Also, family circumstances and priorities are different for each person and affect whether an on-site or off-site accomodation works best for a particular trip.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionqueen2 View Post

However, I never felt that staying off-site ever diminished 'the magic' in any way. Usually, at the end of the day, I am so tired that I don't care if I am in a Disney resort or off-site.



I agree with this and I am always surprised how threads related to the onsite/offsite issue turn into heated debates and many of us feel we have to defensively validate our choice as the "right" choice when it isn't a one size fits all matter. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both options; and what those advantages and disadvantages might be vary from person to person and family to family. Also, staying onsite may be the best option for one family for various reasons for a particular Disney trip but may not be the best option for that same family for another Disney trip. Needs, preferences, vacationing style, length of trip, size of traveling party, budget, etc. are all factors that come into play. Isn't it great that WDW is a vacation destination where we have so many great options? The WDW resorts are wonderfully themed, one of a kind places; and the plethora of really nice and competitively priced offsite hotels, timeshares, and vacation homes that are fairly close to the Disney parks is truly fascinating. After all, regardless of where we all decide to stay, we all have the ability to visit the same parks, restaurants, character meals, etc. The "magic" is what you make it
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